Despite a wave of massive crypto layoffs to kick off the new year, employees in technical and engineering roles, as well as senior management, are likely to continue to see “strong demand” for their skills, recruiters believe.
It has been a tough first few weeks of 2023 for crypto companies and their employees. In just a couple of weeks, the market has already seen over 1,600 crypto-related jobs as a result of continued market volatility and uncertainty.
However, not all divisions saw the same level of cuts.
SAFU: High-level technology and engineering
Rob Paone, founder and CEO of crypto-staffing firm Proof of Talent, told Cointelegraph that technical and engineering roles are “by a wide margin” the most in-demand jobs, even during bear markets.
He said his company still sees “strong demand” for these positions, adding that these salaries are still “very competitive” even though “bidding scenarios” are no longer the case for these employees.
It’s common for mid-level roles to be cut during a bear market, said Johncy Agregado, CapMan Consulting’s Director of Crypto-Recruitment, but said that top jobs tend to “double or triple” during a bear market.
Roles like chief technology officer and chief information security officer tend to be secure, Agregado added, because people in those positions have to maintain business fluidity and keep “things in perspective” while the market corrects itself.
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Not SAFU: “Not Mission Critical”
However, Bown said that the jobs that crypto companies tend to lay off first are usually “around” internal staffing, customer service, compliance, and anything that “doesn’t generate revenue or generate a product.”
Investor and podcaster Anthony Pompliano — who is also the founder of cryptocurrency staffing firm Inflection Points — said that while every company handles bear markets differently, he’s historically seen “unimportant jobs” affected the most by layoffs.
These roles, according to Pompliano, are any roles outside of product, engineering, operations, customer service, and management.
Commenting on the current bear market, Pompliano said he’s heard “numerous reports” of salary cuts at small companies, while others have frozen raises and annual bonuses.
Paone also added that in some cases, even those in technical positions may not be able to completely avoid job cuts, explaining that crypto companies forced into “deeper cuts” have had to cut back on engineering and product teams as well.
Related: Cryptocurrency layoffs lead to mixed reactions from the community
Recent months have seen a series of crypto companies, particularly exchanges, cutting staff amid a market downturn.
Cryptocurrency exchanges Crypto.com and Coinbase both announced cuts to their global workforces last week.
Crypto.com CEO Chris Marsalek tweeted on January 13 that the exchange made the “difficult decision” to reduce its global workforce “by about 20%” due to difficult market conditions and recent industry events.
Meanwhile, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong announced on January 10 that the exchange will cut 950 jobs as part of a plan to cut operating costs by about 25% amid the ongoing crypto winter.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance was one of the few to announce the opposite, hinting at plans for a “hiring spree” in 2023 during a crypto conference in Switzerland.
However, Paone suggested that while cryptocurrency layoffs have been front and center, they have not prompted crypto professionals to turn away from the industry.